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Pirates announce a bunch more NRIs

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SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Pirates have announced that they’ve invited another 13 non-roster players to major league spring training. These players are prospects who aren’t on the 40-man roster. The list:

1B Will Craig
3B Ke’Bryan Hayes
OF Bryan Reynolds
C Christian Kelley
C Jason Delay
C Arden Pabst
RHP Tyler Eppler
LHP Elvis Escobar
RHP Geoff Hartlieb
LHP Brandon Waddell
LHP Blake Weiman
RHP Eduardo Vera
RHP Alex McRae

Some pretty obvious names here, including a few well-known prospects and the usual legion of catchers. Maybe the most interesting name is Elvis Escobar. He converted from the outfield to the mound after pitching in a blowout in late May of 2018. The Pirates discovered he had mid-90s velocity — although he’d always had one of the best outfield arms in the system — and a sharp breaking ball. He only threw 30 innings during the season, but he’s done well in winter ball. Along with Weiman and Hartlieb, maybe he can help reverse the current front office’s inability to develop major league relievers.